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Sterritt **** The handlers of a dopey Colorado politician hire an investigator to find out whether political enemies are planning dirty campaign tricks against their candidate, and before long the private eye stumbles onto a secret that's bigger and more sinister than anything he expected. Leaving aside Huston's bland acting and a few other flaws, Sayles's politically charged drama raises a rousing number of issues and ideas, inviting us to ponder them and draw our own conclusions.Skip to next paragraph
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Director: Kerry Conran. With Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi. (107 min.)
Sterritt * See review at right.
Director: Ondrej Trojan. With Anna Geislerová, Gyorgy Cserhalmi, Jaroslava Adámova. (150 min.)
Sterritt *** After working as a spy against the Nazis, a woman hides in a tiny Czechoslovakian village and marries a sympathetic worker to maintain her cover. Well acted, handsomely photographed, a bit too long. In Czech with subtitles.
Director: Dwight H. Little. With Johnny Messner, KaDee Strickland. (93 min.)
Staff ** An orchid in the Borneo jungles is the only source of a potential "fountain of youth" drug, and an intrepid band of pseudoscientists must rush to harvest it. There's nothing to stop them but inexperience, a swarm of people-eating snakes, and greed. Attractive cast and scenery help make up for the mounting absurdity. By M.K. Terrell.
Sex/Nudity: 1 scene with innuendo. Violence: 17 instances. Profanity: 55 instances. Drugs: 9 scenes.
Director: David R. Ellis. With Kim Basinger, Chris Evans, William H. Macy. (94 min.)
Staff ** When Kim Basinger is kidnapped, she rigs a broken telephone - MacGyver style - so that she randomly dials a cellphone belonging to Ryan (Evans). Fortunately he heeds her call for help and uses his wits to thwart the villains - even as he struggles not to lose the faint cellphone signal. The high-concept story (think "Speed" meets "Phone Booth") may be hokum but it's undeniably fun. Too bad Basinger takes the plot more seriously than the rest of the cast. By Stephen Humphries.
Sex/Nudity: 2 instances of innuendo. Violence: 20 scenes. Profanity: 51 expressions. Drugs: 4 instances of drinking.
Director: Michael Mann. With Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo. (120 min.)
Sterritt *** A hit man shanghais a cab driver to be his assistant for one long, bloody night. Stylishly made, if less intellectually resonant than first-rate Mann films like "Ali" and "The Insider."
Staff *** Thoughtful, classy, engaging.
Sex/Nudity: 2 scenes. Violence: 15 scenes. Profanity: 42 expressions. Drugs: 3 scenes.
Director: Gregory Jacobs. With John C. Reilly, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Diego Luna, Peter Mullan. (87 min.)
Sterritt ** A fledgling con artist apprentices himself to a seasoned veteran and, as usual in movies like this, little is what it seems to be. This remake of the Argentine hit is effective at times but the main impression is of first-rate performers doing second-rate work.
Director: Zhang Yimou. With Jet Li, Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, Zhang Ziyi, Tony Leung, Chiu-Wai. (99 min.)
Sterritt **** In ancient times before China was a unified nation, a warrior visits an emperor to receive praise for killing the ruler's enemies, describes his exploits, then faces unexpected questions that cast a new Rashomon-like light on everything we've seen. Pure excitement, pure cinema. In Mandarin with subtitles.